It was a mix of complete and utter evil gleefulness and dread and sympathy for the contestants when we began planning this episode. What was even better is that the chefs were SO sure they would be doing Restaurant Wars. Honestly, they couldn't stop talking about it for weeks beforehand. My own personal shame and humility resurfaces like a bad meal when I think about my experience with both Restaurant Wars and the wedding challenge (but with a hiccup of laughter at the end).
The remaining chefs are an eclectic and funny group. I only get to see bits and pieces of them before and after challenges, so I am watching everything, including their personalities, for the first time, just like you. They all grew on me (like fungus) with their charm, wit, and sense of humor. They are by far the most talented group of Top Chefs to date as a whole. Man oh man, I'd love the opportunity to cook side by side with any of them. They're a good bunch.
What is even better is the fact that there are four women left to battle for the title in this episode. In seasons past, the women have dropped like flies early on in the season and the ladies who are left this season can cook their asses off. As a female chef, it's still a male dominated industry, plain and simple. So I am not only proud of these four girls, but I find myself rooting for them.